Elazar Stern Concerned with Today’s Dati Leumi Extremism


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The Movement Party candidate Elazar Stern, a former IDF major-general feels his community has shifted too far to the right, becoming too extreme.

Stern writes on his Facebook page, “Over the years, the dati leumi community, of which I am proud to be identified with, in which political or religious extremism was at its center”, is led to believe based on the polls showing growing support for Bayit HaYehudi leader Naftali Bennett, that the tzibur is becoming more extreme.” Stern adds that “despite Bennett’s statements backing refusal of orders in the IDF, he continues to climb in the polls.”

“30% of the citizens of the state and 50% of the voters of HaBayit HaYehudi support refusing orders. This is most troublesome.” He hopes that one does not conclude from this that speaking in favor of insubordination is the way to go in the hope of pulling the support of 30% of voters.

He fears the right-wing shift will distance many who might otherwise consider embracing religion, as well as placing the democratic values of the Jewish state at risk.

Stern adds the roll of the party is not to lick its hands with glee as a result of the optimistic polls resulting from these problematic statements that influence the masses. “It is not the job of leaders to direct the people where he wants, but to make certain the people want to get to the correct places and to lead them in that direction.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. I wonder where Mr Stern woulkd draw the line at refusing orders.

    Its not like they are coming from Hashem or a Navi.

    Would Yitzchak Rabin been correct to refuse the order to fire on the Altelena, knowing only Jews were abord? How about shooting those who didn’t return fire as they were swimming ashore?

    Has he consulted a recognized poseik before forming his decision?

  2. If Stern wants to affect change in the Dati Leumi world, he should be in Bayit Hay’hudi. But instead he hooks up with Tzippi Livni and then wants to tell Bayit Hay’hudi how to think and what to say. But regarding the facts – Stern is wrong. Bayit Hayehudi, the refashioned Mafdal party went out to invite all to join. They are appealing to secular and Haredim alike and they are doing this by presenting the case that the future is with a State that is Jewish, that values it’s heritage and that focuses on unity not factionalism. One other major change from Mafdal is the idea that there is no need to treat the secular with Chanifah. This too is a welcome change. – Elazar Stern represents the old Dati Le’umi and Naftali Bennett represents the new. Ayellet Shaked, the secular woman from North Tel Aviv (number 5 on the list) is proof that Bayit Hayehudi is right on and Stern is dead wrong.

  3. Disobeying orders (given by anyone other than Ha-Shem) is a Jewish characteristic. Among Christians, there were always some sort of “middle men” such as priests, kings, popes, etc – to tell the people what to do and believe. Among Jews, we are responsible for obeying Ha-Shem’s order (“דברי הרב ודברי התלמיד דברי מי שומעין” ).

    In legal terms, Christian countries already has a legal concept of being able to argue that someone was obeying “superior orders” with the only exception being the trial of Nazis after World War II (and really, their crime was losing the war and getting Europe trash – the genocide wasn’t really a factor – if it was, the Allied leaders would have been on trial as accessories). There is no defense of obeying “superior orders” in Jewish tradition.

    The bottom line, is that there is no way someone can be an Orthodox Jew and also “follow orders” given that are contrary to halacha. While there will be much debate as to which order violate halacha, there is no debate that halacha, however defined, has priority over laws passed by the Israeli parliament.

  4. What should be troubling is that anyone, and particularly a state that was supposedly born from the ashes of the Holocaust, would resurrect the argument that following immoral and inhumane orders is ever justified. Evacuating any of the territories sheds Jewish blood. This should be the only consideration. Any soldier that participates in this will be responsible for the outcome. Those that refuse should be saluted as heroes.